If you’re cutting the cord from cable TV, stick around. In this article, I will show you how to get local channels on FireStick. The instructions in this guide will work on any Amazon Fire TV Stick device, including the FireStick 4K, FireStick Lite, and Fire TV Cube.
There has never been a better time cut your cable cord. With so many streaming platforms and devices, there are tons of options for cable TV users who want to ditch their restrictive and pricey cable subscriptions. But how can you cut the cord without giving up live TV and local news channels? Well, with an Amazon FireStick, it’s no problem at all.
The Amazon FireStick is one of the most highly rated streaming devices available on the market today, thanks to its excellent interface, speed, and flexibility. It supports a wide range of official streaming apps, as well as ton of third-party apps that can be sideloaded.
But the Amazon FireStick doesn’t just let you watch movies and TV shows on a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. Your Fire TV device can also stream live TV channels from across the globe, including your local channels. That means even without cable or an antenna, you can still access local TV stations, like local news and sports, on your FireStick.
If you want to watch local TV content on your FireStick or Amazon Fire TV device, there are quite a few options and services available to you. These options include using a digital antenna, subscribing to a skinny bundle, using standalone network apps, and, if you live in a major US city, using the Amazon News app.
In this guide, I will break down each of the options you can use to get local channels on your FireStick. These options are free or significantly cheaper than a cable TV plan.
Attention FireStick Users
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users' online activities. If you use third-party streaming apps on your Fire TV Stick, you should always use a good FireStick VPN and hide your identity so that your movie viewing experience doesn’t take a bad turn. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone.
I use ExpressVPN which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don't like their service, you can always ask for a refund. ExpressVPN also has a special deal where you can get 3 months free and save 49% on annual plan.
How to Get Local Channels on FireStick Using OTA Antenna and Fire TV Recast
To get local channels on your Amazon FireStick, the most direct method involves using a digital antenna with a device such as the Amazon Fire TV Recast. The Amazon Fire TV Recast is a box that lets you watch and record OTA broadcast TV on your device.
It comes in two versions, a 500-GB version with two tuners and a 1-TB version with four tuners. The Fire TV Recast is not a cheap device, especially compared to the FireStick, but it is certainly cheaper in the long term compared to a traditional cable TV subscription.
The Fire TV Recast does not need to physically connect to your TV. It connects to your digital antenna via an in-built antenna input, as well as to your router. You can operate it through your FireStick using the Amazon Fire TV application on your smartphone.
Fire TV Recast pulls down live TV OTA channels from a connected antenna. It grants you access to these channels or acts as a DVR, allowing you to record hundreds of hours of content. Channels that you can watch with Recast include ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and lots of other local TV channels. You can watch the local news, local sports, documentaries, and much more.
If you’re busy, you can also record content to watch later. Depending on the number of tuners, the Fire TV Recast lets users record either two or four programs at the same in the background. You can even enjoy two streams concurrently. It has seamless integration with Fire TV Cube, FireStick Lite, FireStick Fire TV Edition, and other Fire TV products.
Interestingly, you do not technically need any Amazon Fire TV device to use the Fire TV Recast. You can set it up with a plugged-in antenna and connect it to the Amazon Fire TV app on your Android or iOS mobile device. However, if you go this route, you’re limited in terms of features and controls, such as scheduling recordings and curating channels.
There are other OTA DVR alternatives that work with an antenna, such as Tablo, that cost a little less than Recast. But considering its easy integration with your FireStick, you may want to get the Amazon Recast device instead.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to use Fire TV Recast with your Fire TV devices.
How to Get Local Channels on FireStick Using Skinny Bundles
A skinny bundle is a streaming service that offers a bundle of live TV channels, just as a cable provider would. However, a skinny bundle is typically a smaller, more streamlined list of TV channels. Also, it is likely to be a significantly cheaper alternative to a cable network. Popular skinny bundles include FuboTV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, and AT&T TV.
All of the skinny bundles listed below have official apps in the Amazon App Store. If you subscribe to one of these services, simply go to Find and then Search from your FireStick home screen, type in the name of the corresponding app, and download it. Then you can log into the app to start using the service.
1. AT&T TV
With the number of channel options available on AT&T’s streaming service, AT&T TV, it can hardly be described as a skinny bundle. Many of its competitors provide cord-cutters with a trimmed selection of a few channels to stream at a lower price. However, AT&T TV prefers to be cable-sized, with an extensive channel list of news, sports, entertainment, and educational live TV channels.
This means that the AT&T TV app is less budget-friendly than some of its alternatives. On the flip side, there is a wealth of channels to watch on the app, including local news channels, regional sports networks, entertainment channels, family channels, and other national cable channels.
The number of local channels that you can access on AT&T TV depends on a variety of factors, one being your location. To view the local channels and regional sports networks available around you, you can enter your zip code on the AT&T TV website. Use the zip code associated with your billing address, as your billing address will ultimately determine the local and regional channels available to you.
2. Sling TV
Regarded as one of the apps responsible for the original wave of cord-cutting, Sling TV offers its users the ability to stream live TV channels on FireStick. It is a budget alternative to competitors like YouTube TV while still offering tons of channels. On Sling TV, you can watch local, national, and global channels.
You can get Sling Orange or Sling Blue for $35 per month, or you can get both for $50 per month. Sling Orange doesn’t have local channels, so you’ll need Sling Blue or the combined plan to watch local channels on your FireStick with Sling TV. Be aware that no Sling TV subscription provides access to ABC or CBS local channels.
Sling Orange leans towards sports and family entertainment, with channels like ESPN and Disney. Sling Blue comes with MSNBC, FOX News, Discovery, and NBC and FOX local channels. Channels like CNN, AMC, Food Network, and History Channel are available on both Orange and Blue.
The Sling TV app is only available in the United States, but if you want to use it anyway, you can always change your location with a VPN.
fuboTV is a not-so-popular service that offers a robust lineup of live TV channels. A while ago, fuboTV would not have made this guide. While the streaming service has always provided both on-demand content and live TV, it used to have few local TV channels.
However, now subscribers can watch several national and local channels on the app, covering a range of programming, including sports, news, and entertainment. The available local channels include ABC, NBC, FOX, CW, and CBS. There are also tons of sports channels and regional sports networks to choose from, including beIN Sports, NBCSN, NESN, MSG, FS1, and FS2. fuboTV is a favorite among sports fans.
In fact, fuboTV was initially launched as a sports-centric streaming platform. The platform has since expanded to include several other categories, including the local channels you’re looking for.
The fuboTV website has a table of local channels available in over 200 US cities. You will only receive local channels if you stream fuboTV from within one of these regions. For example, in some regions, subscribers can watch local channels on FOX and NBC, while users in other regions may not have access to them. If you’re traveling, you’ll receive local channels based on your real-time location.
FireStick users can browse the local channels available on fuboTV with the service’s built-in TV guide. The guide features cable-like functions, allowing users to browse, mark favorites, and schedule channel recordings.
4. Hulu + Live TV
Another skinny bundle option that allows users to get local channels on FireStick is Hulu + Live TV. This service currently has millions of active subscribers, making it one of the most popular live TV streaming platforms on the planet. And for good reason too. It’s highly regarded as one of the best-value deals for live TV.
Hulu + Live TV is a combo package that offers exactly what the name implies: a blend of Hulu’s on-demand content and a robust lineup of live TV. This means that you can effortlessly switch from the latest movies, TV shows, and documentaries to live news stations, sports events, and other live entertainment.
Hulu + Live TV offers a vast array of channels, with several local channels depending on where you live. The bundle includes ESPN channels and local NBC, ABC, and FOX channels, if there are any in your area. You also get regional sports networks to enjoy. To see a list of all the channels available in your location, enter your ZIP code on the official Hulu site.
5. YouTube TV
No one can claim YouTube TV is a pocket-friendly live TV provider. But this Google-owned service is one of the most popular. This fact comes down to its extensive lineup of channels and other attractive features, like unlimited DVR storage. YouTube TV is now available on FireStick and other Amazon Fire TV devices through the YouTube app.
YouTube TV is one of the best live TV apps for US viewers who are interested in streaming local TV channels on their devices. With more than 80 popular live TV channels covering a range of categories, including local news and sports, users can view a variety of channels in their vicinity. These channels include NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS.
The major attraction is the wide area of coverage, with more than 90% of US markets able to access local TV channels. That means you can use YouTube TV to watch local TV channels from most places in the country. This streaming app is an excellent option for sports and news channels, as it has channels like CNN, BBC World News, and ESPN, among plenty more.
In addition to its national and local TV channels, YouTube TV also lets users subscribe to premium channel addons. These include HBO, ShowTime, Shudder, Cinemax, and STARZ.
The cost of a YouTube TV subscription has steadily risen over the last few years. But for many of its subscribers, it remains the best option available.
How to Get Local Channels on FireStick Using Locast
If you happen to be in any of the 35 cities where Locast is available, you can access several local TV channels in your area for free. Locast is a non-profit live streaming platform that was launched in 2018. The service set up antennas in select cities so it could collect live OTA signals and relay them over the internet to its viewers.
On Locast, you can enjoy local channels that you would get with an antenna. It has a robust channel list that includes NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, and The CW.
Like I said, the thing is that Locast’s coverage is relatively small. However, if you happen to live in one of the areas that receives coverage, you will get to watch some local channels in your area. Locast uses your real-time location to determine what’s available to you, so if you live outside the designated markets, you won’t be able to use the service. As a workaround, you can always connect to a VPN server in one of the covered markets.
Locast is pretty easy to use. It requires you to register on its site with an email address and verify the email by entering a validation code. That app comes with a TV guide for the FireStick, and you can favorite your preferred channels.
You do not need a subscription to view local channels on Locast, as it’s free of charge—technically, anyway. You will be prompted to give a $5 donation every 15 minutes while watching content on Locast. To avoid these frequent and annoying interruptions, you may prefer to give the donation. After all, that’s cheap for local channels.
Locast is available in the following cities:
- New York
- Puerto Rico
- Sioux City
- West Palm Beach
- Tampa Bay
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Sioux Falls
- Washington DC
- Rapid City
How to Install Locast on FireStick
Since the Locast app is available in the official Amazon App Store, you can go to Find and then Search from the FireStick home screen, type in Locast, and select the app to install it. Once the app is installed, you may refer to the video below to learn how to use it.
How to Get Local Channels on FireStick Using Network Apps
You can watch local channels across the major TV networks if you use one of the options I already mentioned in this guide. However, there is also the option of installing and using individual network apps on your Amazon FireStick.
Each of these apps only provides content from the corresponding network and its affiliates. So if you go this route, you may need to install quite a few apps to reach your preferred level of coverage. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, and other networks all have apps that you can install on your Fire TV device.
For example, you can download the app for Paramount+ (previously called CBS All Access) on your FireStick. With this app, you can watch your local CBS affiliates, CBS Sports HQ, CBSN, and ET Live.
But there’s something important to note here: Not all network TV apps will grant you free access to your local TV channels. You may have to test the apps for your favorite networks to see which ones best suit your needs.
Here’s how to install the Paramount+ app on FireStick. If you want to get a different network app, simply search for the name of that app instead in step 3.
1. On your FireStick home screen, go to Find.
2. Scroll down to Search and click it.
3. With your remote, start to type in Paramount Plus with the on-screen keyboard. When Paramount Plus comes up in the suggested searches, scroll down and select it.
4. Click Get or Download.
5. Wait will the app downloads and installs.
To access Paramount+, press and hold the home button on your remote, then select Apps. Find and select Paramount+ to launch it. If you have a Paramount+ account already, you can sign in using your account details.
How to Get Local Channels on FireStick Using Amazon’s News App
Perhaps the most widely consumed live TV content is news. And for wide coverage of local news on your FireStick or other Fire TV gadget, there aren’t many better apps than Amazon’s own News app. If you own a FireStick and want to stay updated on the latest news in your area, you cannot go wrong with this app.
Local channels on the News app include ABC News Live and CBS News. There are lots of national and global channels available as well, including Bloomberg, HuffPost, and Reuters.
Recently, local news was only available in 12 cities across the United States, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dalas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. However, Amazon recently rolled out much wider coverage, adding 88 local markets. These includes major metro areas like Detroit, New Orleans, and Phoenix.
As a result of this new rollout, Amazon FireStick users in many more locations in the US can tune in to follow their local news. When you launch the app for the first time, it will detect the metro region that is closest to you and will provide you with local news from that area, along with many national news channels.
The Amazon news app offers a range of features for a comfortable viewing experience. It is customizable, letting you select the news sources that you prefer and creating a playlist based on your selections. This playlist is regularly updated so you are never out of touch with current events. You can tweak your source selection whenever you want, and the playlist will reflect the changes immediately.
No subscription is required to use the news app on your Amazon FireStick. It is supported by ads.
You don’t need to download the News app manually. It is already installed on your Fire TV device and available under the YOUR APPS & CHANNELS section.
How to Get Local Channels on FireStick Using NewsON
This is another news streaming app, one that focuses on the local news. NewsON is actually one of the leading apps that offers local TV news in the US. With NewsON, users gain instant access to live news broadcasts and video-on-demand content, such as old newscasts and clips.
The NewsON app offers wide reach, currently covering around 80% of US markets. It offers on-demand news from over 275 local TV stations in over 165 markets, and those figures are steadily rising.
As usual, the local stations that are available vary by location. However, most viewers will be able to use NewsON to stream the local news from major networks, like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and PBS.
Interestingly, you’re not restricted to local news in your area. Say I live in Los Angeles, for example, and am curious to see what’s happening over in Dallas. I simply need to switch over to that location and I will gain access to all the local news broadcasts in that area.
Recently, NewsON debuted a redesigned app for Amazon Fire TV devices, like the Fire TV Cube, FireStick 4K, and FireStick Lite. The revamped app simplifies access to the stations available on the app and increases customization. Viewers can set their favorite stations and watch breaking news coverage from multiple local stations.
NewsON is completely free of charge, but users will be shown ads to support the service.
How to Install NewsON on FireStick
The NewsON app is available in the Amazon App Store. Simply go to Find and then Search from the FireStick home screen, type in NewsON, and select the app to install it.
Do you need an antenna to get local channels on FireStick?
No. While using an OTA antenna together with a device like the Amazon Recast is one way you can stream local TV channels on your FireStick device, it is not the only way. There are other services that you can use, including skinny bundle streaming services like AT&T TV and Hulu + Live TV. You can also use services like Locast or third-party apps like Live NetTV.
Is a subscription required to view local channels on FireStick?
Many live TV streaming services are not free and require a monthly subscription to use. On the other hand, some services are completely free, such as the News app from Amazon and the third-party Live NetTV application. These free apps are supported by ads. Locast is another free service, with the only inconvenience being requests for a $5 donation.
What are the major local TV channels?
The major OTA TV networks in the US are ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, and FOX. These networks have affiliates in virtually every major US city, and those affiliates operate the corresponding local channels. Whether those local channels are available to you depends largely on your real-time location.
Well, that’s all there is to it. In this guide, I showed you how to get local channels on FireStick. These methods help you access news, sports, and other content on your local live TV channels. I hope the details I provided made your choice easy. Please share your feedback in the comment section below!
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